D.I.Y. beer

A&E finds the best brewing supply stores in the area.

Conrad Schoenleber

Here in Minneapolis we like doing things ourselves. D.I.Y. is all the rage. We at A&E even do all our writing ourselves.

That’s why we placed it upon our shoulders to bring you a guide to the best home brewing shops in the area. Whether you’re trying to brew up a heavy stout, a lush wine or even just some soda, these stores contain all the equipment and ingredients necessary.

Home brewing also provides a nice work around liquor laws, as you don’t have to be 21 to buy the ingredients. Don’t schedule your party yet, underage baller, as fermentation typically takes upwards of a month.

Northern Brewer Home Brewery Supply

1150 Grand Ave

A brick building with few thrills, Northern Brewer has one focus — providing high-quality ingredients, recipes and equipment to the avid home brewer. Amateur home brewing scientists can pick and choose from a large variety of spices, oats, barley and other ingredients all necessary for attempting to make a decent drink.

Pre-made all-in-one packs are also available, allowing you to brew something that would taste similar to your favorite store-bought beer.

“If you’re looking to drink only Miller High Life Light then home brewing is not for you,” Heyward Gualandi, a manager at Northern Brewer said. “The economies of scale are hard to compete with at that level. It’s the higher quality craft beers that we encourage people to brew here.”

You can tell that the lively Northern Brewer staff really wants your creation to turn out well. The funky crowd represents the counterculture. Being helped by a mohawked punk would not be out of place at Northern Brewer.

One of the largest online distributors in the country, Northern Brewer has earned a reputation as a high quality and helpful home brewing supply.

“We attract a thrifty, do-it-yourself crowd who enjoys home brewing as a hobby. Just like any hobby, you do it because it’s fun. We just do this hobby professionally,” Gualandi said.

 

Midwest Homebrewing and Winemaking Supply

5825 Excelsior Blvd.

 

Lyndsey LaGrange, a worker at Midwest Homebrewing likes to wax philosophical on the joys of home fermentaion.

“It allows me to use creativity in the kitchen and then share it with people,” she said. “It takes the stigma out of drinking. It’s like ‘Hey I made this, I know what’s in it and now I want to share it with you.’ ”

LaGrange’s attitude is typical of the workers at Midwest Homebrewing. A quaint building in a charming part of St. Louis Park, Midwest Homebrewing is also one of the largest online distributors of home fermentation supplies — and Northern Brewer’s chief competition. The staff here is older and more experienced. Whereas Northern Brewer is bent more on experimentation, throwing ingredients together in the hope of concocting some magical new formula, Midwest Homebrewing focuses more on getting the classics mastered.